| 8.7°C Dublin

Healthy brain and low risk of Alzheimer's for diners who stay hooked on fish

PEOPLE who eat baked or grilled fish on a weekly basis may be improving their brain health and reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study.

Cyrus Raji, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre and School of Medicine, said: "This is the first study to establish a direct relationship between fish consumption, brain structure and Alzheimer's risk.

"The results showed that people who consumed baked or broiled (grilled) fish at least one time per week had better preservation of grey matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer's disease."

The findings of the decade-long study, which are to be presented at the annual Radiological Society of North America meeting, centred on 260 healthy individuals.

The findings showed weekly baked or grilled fish consumption was positively associated with grey matter volumes -- which is crucial to brain health.

Decreases in gray matter volume indicate that brain cells are shrinking.

Dr Anne Corbett, research manager of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "This moderately sized study adds weight to existing evidence suggesting that eating fish reduces your risk of developing cognitive decline.

"However, this research did not account for lifestyle factors such as other foods or exercise which could also have had an effect.

"The best way to lessen your chance of developing dementia is to eat a healthy diet including fruit and vegetables along with taking regular exercise and giving up smoking."